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Quince Expo offers choices to residents (video)

By chirst
July 28, 2013 at 2:28 a.m.
Updated July 29, 2013 at 2:29 a.m.

Justine Villarreal, 15, models a formal dress during a fashion show at the Quince Girl Expo at the Victoria Community Center.

Quince Girl and Accessories

•  WHAT: Newly opened shop for quinceanera accessories

•  WHERE: 1404 E. Red River St., Suite B

When Myca Ramirez turns 15 in November, it will be a special day.

Myca will have more than 200 people at the Community Center to celebrate with her, and some will have travelled hundreds of miles to come to Victoria.

She will ride in a limousine with her friends, there will be a carousal at the party and a lot of food, and she will have the most beautiful dress.

"It becomes a big celebration. You only turn 15 once, and that is a blessing. She is coming from childhood into womanhood. For me, it is even more special because I didn't have that. I want her to have that special day," explained Myca's mother, Mikki Juarez.

To get ready for the big day, Myca and her mom came to the Quince Girl Expo at the Victoria Community Center, where dress shops, floral vendors, caterers and even balloon bouquet artists had their products on display.

Sunday marked the fifth year of the event, though it has been held in various locations, including Port Lavaca, said organizer Annette Franco.

Franco, who owns The Linen House, a full rental and decorating service, just opened Quince Girl and Accessories, a shop to cater to the quinceanera needs of Crossroads families. Currently, many families travel outside the Crossroads to shop for their quinceaeras.

Juarez said the family had originally planned to attend a quince expo in San Antonio on Sunday but was excited when she found out about the area show.

"It is convenient having one in Victoria and being able to see all the businesses and what they have to offer. I have Googled a lot of stuff, but I didn't see a lot of the people who are here today," Juarez said.

While the event is convenient for families, Franco said it is essential for many of the business in the area.

Christine Rouse, owner of Balloon Banquet by Life's Celebration, said more than 60 percent of her business comes from quinceaneras. And most of those bookings, she said, come from the expo.

Rouse, who built a 17-foot-by-19-foot balloon castle with more than 1,200 balloons for the event, said many don't understand what can be done with balloons until they see it.

Amy Nowlin, owner of Bliss Bridal, held a fashion show at the event to showcase quinceanera dresses. Nowlin said she received orders all the way up until May 2014 at the expo.

"I do the homecoming, prom and bridal, but I know quinceanera is huge in Victoria, and I wanted to bring those collections here, so they don't have to travel to get the styles," Nowlin said.

Juarez said she got all kinds of ideas for their big day, from DJs to cakes, and said knowing what all the area options were was invaluable.

Myca, who won a door prize at the event, hopes to have unique colors, like brown, pink and purple at her quinceanera.

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